queen annes lace
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Bi-annual. There is almost no difference between wild carrot and common grocery store carrots. The young first year plants have small delicious whitish yellow roots- tiny carrots. The root of the older plant has turned to wood and is not digestible, but you CAN take the flowers and put them into a salad or make a tea with them. It is a diuretic so it helps flush the kidneys of uric acid and keeps things moving very well. The shoots and stems can be eaten raw or steamed like asparagus. Much better when peeled. Seeds can be used as a seasoning or in tea and the leaves can be used also in salads or as a garnish. The greens have 100 times more vitamin A than the carrot. Roots have minerals, greens have vitamins. Wild carrot has been used historically for treating kidney and bladder issues to increasing sex hormones, and its seeds have been used quite effectively as a “morning after” pill if taken correctly. The list of health conditions it’s used for are endless, making it worthwhile to recognize and use. You name it. Alzheimer's, Crohn's disease, Parkinson's disease, infertility, asthma-preventive, most types of cancer, diabetes, leukemia, HIV, migraine headache, obesity, stress, PMS, digestive disorders, cystitis, kidney stones, cancer, etc. Extreme caution must be used when collecting wild carrot because it closely resembles poison hemlock and giant hogweed. The way you can tell them apart is poison hemlock has purple splotches on the stem, carrot doesn’t. Wild carrot has one single flat umbrella-like cluster with a little dark spot in the middle. Look for the dark spot. Poison hemlock has many clusters fanning out from the stem. Hemlocks flower in the late spring and wild carrot flowers in the late summer. The wild carrot flower later curls up into a cup like a little birds nest. It has fine green “lace” below the flower, hence the name “Queen Anne’s Lace”. Wild carrot smells like carrot and grows to only about 3 feet or one meter tall. Poison hemlock smells terrible and grows up to 10 feet or three meters tall. Wild carrot has a hairy stem while poison hemlock has a smooth stem with purple splotches. Unless you are 100% sure, it's best to play it safe and stay away from all umbrella plants that have parsley-like leaves. Even poisonous plants have a purpose, but you have to know what you are doing. One final way to tell is take a leaf, rub it between your fingers… if it smells like carrot, it's wild carrot. (hemlock smells bad). Dab the leaf on your tongue taste buds- it tastes like carrot. Even the white flower tastes like carrot. Poison hemlock stems oftentimes have a white powder that rubs off. The only other toxic plant closely resembling wild carrot is fool’s parsley, which has considerably smaller white flower umbrellas, the leaves are smooth, hairless and smell bad.
Edible Plant Guide © 2012 Markus Rothkranz